After federal restrictions on hemp were lifted at the end of 2018, Cannabidiol’s (CBD) popularity skyrocketed. Everyone, including pets, seems to be riding high on the CBD wave.
Despite unsubstantiated health claims on the miraculous nature of CBD or outdated stigmas surrounding hemp, consumers are growing more aware of CBD’s health benefits.
Plenty of misconceptions and myths surrounding CBD still exist. This article aims to end the hype and stigma and dispel common CBD myths.
CBD Gets You High
CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) both come from cannabis and hemp plants. Because both compounds originate from the same source, some people may think that CBD is just as mind-altering as other cannabinoids. Unlike THC, CBD does not bind to cannabinoid receptors responsible for eliciting an intoxicating response.
CBD Is Better Without THC
Although many users may and have benefitted from CBD isolates and distillates that contain only the CBD compound, some research suggests that some conditions can improve when CBD and THC are used in conjunction. Research studies have shown that cannabinoids interact synergistically to amplify or mute certain therapeutic effects.
CBD Is Non-Psychoactive
CBD brands have boasted that their products are non-psychoactive, which isn’t technically true. In terms of cannabis use, psychoactivity is mistaken for the feelings of intoxication experienced when consuming THC. Psychoactivity and intoxication, however, are not interchangeable terms.
Psychoactivity is defined as changes in the brain caused by chemical substances. CBD’s effects on the body’s central nervous system fit into the definition of psychoactivity. For example, low doses of CBD have been shown to improve moods in clinically depressed patients. CBD’s mood-boosting and anxiolytic effects have positively affected people’s psyche.
CBD Is Completely Legal
The 2018 Farm Bill pushed hemp-derived CBD into the legal limelight, but there’s still a long way to go for mainstream access to legal CBD. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved one CBD-based pharmaceutical (Epidiolex) for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gaustat syndrome.
Without double-blind, randomized trials (the gold-standard of research trials), the FDA will not approve CBD as a health or dietary supplement, although many companies currently claim to provide unproven health benefits. Additionally, not all CBD is legal. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) ensures that cannabis-derived CBD contains less than 0.3% THC.
CBD Makes You Sleepy
While many people have used and continue to use CBD to relieve their insomnia, CBD itself is not a sedating compound. In fact, in low-to-moderate doses, CBD has shown to provide a boost of energy, concentration, and alertness. CBD works by reducing the stress and anxiety that gets in the ways of a good night’s sleep.
High doses of CBD-rich flower, however, have anecdotally made users slightly drowsy, but it’s not likely from the CBD. Some believe that the high terpene levels (specifically of myrcene) can have slight sedating effects, although this is not proven.
CBD Is The Only Cannabinoid With Medical Value
We’ve heard it before from anti-cannabis legislation: legalizing cannabis will do more harm than good. It’s been an uphill struggle getting the federal government to recognize the legitimacy of hemp and CBD. THC is seen as the illicit and intoxicating compound that teenagers use to get high. Despite THC’s stigma as a purely recreational drug, the government approved a synthetic form of THC (Marinol) as an antiemetic and appetite-boosting drug.
The More CBD, The Better
It’s easy to think that if low doses of CBD can relieve some maladies, a higher dose will provide even more health benefits. While some patients may benefit from low doses (2 to 20 mg), other medical conditions may require hundreds of milligrams of CBD to achieve the desired effects. Without proper research, consumers are left in the dark on the exact dosage that they should take. Instead, they’ll rely on anecdotal evidence and hope for the best.
All CBD Is The Same
CBD can come from cannabis or hemp plants, albeit, some hemp plants contain less CBD than some CBD-rich cannabis flower. That means that a large amount of hemp must be used to extract CBD. Hemp companies that don’t perform lab testing can run the risk of having contaminants in their product. Consumers should always look for third-party test results when purchasing any type of CBD product.
It’s a painstaking process trying to dispell myths and misconceptions surrounding cannabis and its chemical compounds. A long-standing tradition to prohibit medical cannabis is slowly changing. Arming consumers with knowledge of CBD dosage, effects, and more can give more people reasonable expectations for what CBD can do for them.